The other day on my way home from work I came across about a dozen sandhill cranes (Gruiformes: Gruidae: Grus canadensis) foraging in a corn field along a rural road. These large birds feed mostly on grain and seeds, but will also eat insects and other small animals.
Sandhill cranes overwinter in the southern United States and migrate to northern states and Canada in the spring. Although I’ve seen them nesting here in southeast Michigan in the summer, the size of this congregation suggested they were still on their way farther north. These birds tend to migrate in groups, with mating pairs eventually breaking off and settling down to raise their young.
After a few minutes they got spooked and took off, calling while in flight: